Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Metallica Mix Challenge

Post # 311 (The Metallica Mix Challenge!)

I thought of this challenge as a way for Metallica fans to exercise their fandom while awaiting the release of the next Metallica album. The challenge: what 13 tracks would you put in your Metallica mix (and can you keep it under 80 minutes-to fit it on an audio-CDR?) Try to make the track-list flow with a purpose and direction, and give your reasons for your picks. The hits? The covers? Deep tracks? Early tracks? Later tracks? From the radio-staples to the rarities, anything is game. I polled several of my friends and followers through this blog's facebook page to get some people to participate.

Here are the Metallica mixes that were created by some of the most die-hard Metallica fans I know. You will see that to each fan, different songs speak to them. Sure, there are several examples of truly essential songs that appear in most of these mixes, but as a long-time fan who appreciates every era of Metallica's career, it is interesting for me to see the songs that mean the most to others. Starting with my own Metallica Mix....

HappyHeadbanger's Metallica Mix: I wanted to compile some of Metallica's recent contributions to tribute albums that have not appeared on a Metallica record yet, plus their performance with Lang Lang from the recent Grammy Awards show, then round out the playlist with some deep tracks- favorites of mine that are never played on the radio, and rarely- if ever- performed by Metallica in concert.
1-The Ecstasy of Gold (Studio version, from the tribute to Ennio Morricone: We All Love Ennio Morricone)
2-Am I Evil? (Diamond Head cover)
3-The God That Failed
4-Fight Fire with Fire
5-The Unnamed Feeling
6-No Remorse
7-53rd and 3rd (Ramones cover, from the tribute to Ramones: We're a Happy Family)
8-Dyers Eve
9-Broken, Beat and Scarred
10-Phantom Lord (Live- taken from the 'Jump in the Fire/Creeping Death EP')
11-Rebel of Babylon
12-Ronnie Rising Medley (From 'Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life' a tribute to Ronnie James Dio)

Lance H's Metallica MixAll are just my favorite Metallica songs:
Harvester of Sorrow
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Call of Cthulu
Dyer's Eve
The Thing that Should not be
The Four Horsemen
Hit the Lights
The God that Failed

Matt A's Metallica MixHere is my list. This would be my Metallica concert setlist in order. 13 songs is tough. I want it crazy the whole way 

Creeping Death
Don't Tread On Me
(Anesthsia) Pulling Teeth
The Four Horsemen
And Justice For All
Welcome Home Sanitarium
Fade To Black
Last Caress (cover)
The Day That Never Comes

Denny J's Metallica Mix:

1. One
2. Creeping Death
3. Call of Kluto(spelling I'm sure is wrong lol)
4. Damage Inc.
5. Cyanide
6. Master of Puppets
7. Breadfan (cover)
8. Battery
9. Fade to Black
10. Four Horsemen

Norry M's Metallica Mix:
The Unforgiven (Black album)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Seek & Destroy
...And Justice for All
Enter Sandman
Master of Puppets
Creeping Death
Wherever I may Roam
Sad but True

JP S's Metallica Mix:
In no particular order:
All Nightmare Long
Sad But True
Hit The Lights
Devil's Dance
Creeping Death
Disposable Heroes
The Frayed Ends of Sanity
Bleeding Me
Wherever I May Roam
Sweet Amber
Ain't My Bitch
Ride The Lightning

Mauricio S's Metallica Mix:

1 Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
2 Damage Inc.
3 Orion
4 Battery
5 Fade to Black
6 Blackened
7 2X4
8 The Four Horsemen
9 Motorbreath
10 Fight Fire with Fire
11 Disposable Heroes
(1st 12th pick- later omitted: Bleeding Me)
12 My Friend of Misery
13 For Whom The Bell Tolls

Aarin O's Metallica Mix:
1. Unforgiven
2. One
3. Leper Messiah
4. Battery
5. Sad but True
6. Of Wolf and Man
7. Trapped Under Ice
8. Ride the Lightning
9. Seek and Destroy
10. Enter Sandman
11. Creeping Death
12. Harvester of Sorrow
13. Turn the Page ( Cover )

Ian A's Metallica Mix:
1- The Ecstasy of Gold (Live version)
2- The Mechanix (Live '82)
3- No Remorse
4- Fade to Black
5- The Thing That Should Not Be
6- Dyers Eve
7- My Friend of Misery
8- Ronnie
9- Where the Wild Things Are
10- So What? (cover)
11- Unnamed Feeling
12- The Day That Never Comes
13- Hate Train

Ryan B's Metallica Mix:

Enter Sandman
The Unforgiven
The Unforgiven II
The Unforgiven III
King Nothing
Breadfan (cover)
Master of Puppets
The Day That Never Comes
The Memory Remains
Turn The Page (cover)

Some fun facts about these 10 Metallica Mixes:

Most picked songs: Battery (8), One (7), The Four Horsemen (4), Fade to Black (4), Blackened (4)

Most picks by album: Master of Puppets (23), Ride The Lightning (19), ...And Justice For All (19), Metallica (17)

Mixes featuring every Metallica studio album: Ian A's, JP S's

Mixes that remained under 80 minutes: Happy Headbanger's, Matt A's, Denny J's, Ian A's, Aarin O's

Master of Puppets was the only album to have every track picked for somebody's mix out of these first ten mixes.

Feel free to post your own Metallica Mix (13 songs or less) as a comment on this post, or on this blog's Facebook Page.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Her Name is Mercy-Oceans (2015)

Post #310

Her Name Is Mercy are the current Independent Band of the Year for this blog, and although I've been trying my best to keep up with announcing their shows throughout the year, I am long overdue to review their recent album 'Oceans'.

Her Name Is Mercy are a hardcore metal band from Lafayette, IN. Their  eight-track debut album, 'Oceans', gives you a little bit from each facet of their musical formula. The most prominent features of their music are of course hardcore screamed vocals, heavy crunching guitar riffs, and intense tempos with powerful double-bass drum rhythms. This is essentially their hallmark, but their talent and creativity doesn't stop there. A close listen to this album in its entirety reveals more layers to their sound...

The first track is simply entitled 'Intro', and sets the mood for the album. Fade-in with the sound of ocean waves washing upon the shore, and gulls squawking in the background. Then a minor key melody begins playing on piano. Cellos join in on the melody, then synthetic percussion followed by true bass-drumming. Lastly come the electric guitars with their powerful heavy riffs. All this is simply to prepare you for the over-the-top intensity that is to follow.

'Faceless' is non-stop riffage and hardcore screams. Vocalist Kory Rogers' voice dwells in the guttural death-metal range for much of the song. This song's formula may be the norm for the album,but there are a few small departures...

'Aftermath' is without a doubt the biggest departure for Her Name Is Mercy on this collection of songs. A clean-tone melodic guitar at the start lets you know this song has something different to offer. While this soft riff continues at a mild tempo, a lead guitar joins the mix. These solos are reminiscent of Metallic's 'Fade to Black'. In fact, 'Aftermath' does for Oceans what 'Fade to Black' did for Ride the Lightning; it gives the album some true variety and depth, making it more memorable in the process.

'Oceans', the title track, is probably the album's crowning achievement. It may not provide anything new, but the intensity, hardcore heaviness, and downright insanity of the vocal delivery are done with some intangible precision that elevates this track a notch above the rest. They even have a music video for this one. Check it out:
For any of you who appreciate hardcore and death metal, take a minute to download Oceans from Her Name Is Mercy. It's currently available for free/name-your-price through their bandcamp page:

Recommended Tracks: